December 06, 2013
One Year for Varanasi, India “Beyond”
This week marks a year since Joey, Ryan, and myself released "Varanasi, India: "Beyond"
We released the 43 minute film online doing no promos, teasers, or anything strategic. One day Joey and I were talking and he said, "hey, lets just post it on Vimeo tomorrow." So that is exactly what we did. Simple release, yet it spread like wildfire. 1.2 million visited my page the first month and I still average about 80-90,000 hits a month. Despite our skepticism that 45 minutes was way too long for anyone to watch online, we have had over 300,000 people watch the film in over 160 countries. I think of the sadhus and the beautiful message that Magesh had given in his interview and to think his voice spread that far. It gives me chills.
Magesh by JoeyL (too see more of this amazing photo series, CLICK HERE)
Telling you I love filmmaking would be an understatement. If money were no factor, I would still be a filmmaker. It is my conduit to entertaining, empowering, enabling, educating....all those good E words. I love the reach the film industry has and I work relentlessly to meet the goals I have ambitiously tattooed to my soul. Before this year, I never quite understood just how capable we are, including YOU, right now at this moment.
I am not famous nor am I rich, yet by simply creating something compelling with a positive message, it has the ability to breech all borders, religions, races, and sexes. You don't need to be status, have a following or people even know your name. When that realization was truly understood, my inspiration and confidence were like splitting atoms. I am not here to bullshit you, I am here to tell you that you have power and you are capable. You may not be where you want to be currently, but don't get discouraged. You're right where you are supposed to be and you can make a difference right now. Magesh and Vijay are homeless sadhus living in filthy tents next to the dirtiest river in the world. They are right where they are supposed be, empowering people around the globe.
Earlier this week I posted to my instagram account after having a moment of clarity. It came with such conviction that I felt the need to drop the F bomb, which is extremely rare for me on here.
"One thing I missed most while living in California was the changing of seasons. When every leaf had fallen and the cold moved in. I come to a place where the world sits still and remember. I remember times are always changing yet so many people never grow. It's up to you and only you to learn and adapt and mature into something better. You are alive and it is good, so go be something fucking great."
Thank you to everyone who watched, embedded, blogged, and shared their message.
To everyone who has emailed or messaged me, I've read every single one. Thank you for your encouragement.
I am grateful beyond measure.
More is coming. I promise.